Monday, August 25, 2014

Today's Prayer: The Need for Guidance




Please grant us Your mercy and Your goodness for the day. Make us aware of our own selfish pride and arrogant views that we so often hold against others. Release from the guilt that has already been taken care of at the cross. Guide us to the individuals you would have us touch with your love and favor. Help us to see that this life is not one in which we live for self but one in which we live for You and for Your glory. Please let us, as Your children, dwell in thankfulness, reliance, joy, and peace. Help us to see that the difficulties and trials we encounter are allowed by Your divine hand and that You will lead us through them as we place our trust in You. Help us to remember that You are the One who will lead us beside the still waters of refreshment. Father, may we never lose our focus. May we never take our eyes off of Your Son. May we go boldly on knowing You are in control. Thank you for providing a love that has never been known in this world before. Thank you for entrusting us with a divine call. Thank you for equipping us to serve You. God, give us this day Your gentle guidance.

In Your Son's name we come,

Amen

Tuesday, August 12, 2014

Show Us Christ

I am currently doing a short sermon series at church on how to view the Scriptures. I find that there are generally 2 ways that we can approach the Bible. The first is a man-centered approach. This approach sees self at the center of the Bible. This view misses or minimizes the grand narrative of the Bible: God's mission of redemption of all things for His glory. In other words, the Scriptures are all about me: the path I must follow, my guide to blessing, my list of "do's" and "don'ts", etc. etc. etc. When we come to the Bible in this way, how burdened we become! How off track we can go! Sure the Bible has many commands. Sure the Bible speaks of blessing and fruitfulness. Yet, is all of this dependent upon us?

I believe the Scriptures point to a better way. In Luke 24:25-27 Jesus tells us that all of the Scriptures point to Him. Jesus is to be the focal point of our approach to Scripture! He is the one who has already perfectly obeyed every command of God. He is the One who sits enthroned in heaven with all blessings and any blessing we receive comes because of Him. He is the One who brings us freedom to live free from the shackles of sin and self for a greater purpose! It is all about Jesus! The Old Testament points us to Jesus and the New Testament expounds upon Him.

Much more could be said about this topic and will be in future posts. For now, I want to close by sharing with you a beautiful song that should be the prayer of our hearts every time we open the pages of Scripture both privately and corporately. Enjoy!



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Tuesday, August 5, 2014

A Reason to Give Thanks

"Give thanks in all circumstances, for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus for you." I Thessalonians 5:18

Its been a while since my last post. A lot has happened in the Pereira household over the past few weeks including the birth of our beautiful little girl! As I sat thinking about my blog and what the Lord would have me write, a verse that has become very real to me over the past few weeks popped into my mind. Let's face it, this is one of those verses which is much easier to read than to live out! I recall sitting on the couch very frustrated over a life event that was really weighing on me. It wasn't anything overly serious like cancer, tragedy, or anything else on the top 10 lists of life crises. Yet, it was, nonetheless, greatly consuming my mind and energies and was burdening me. Imagine my surprise when I opened up my Bible app to take a look at the "verse of the day" when I Thessalonians 5:18 came up. It really hit me between the eyes. I had totally lost perspective on what God had called me to do! 

God was, once again, trying to pry my fingers from trying to control even the "little things" of life to fasten my gaze upon Him and His sufficiency. When this happens, my flesh screams out in the pain of lost certainty while my spirit is ever mindful of the great need my God is trying to meet. This is where the rubber meets the road. This is where the battle lies. 

So, what are we to do in such times of difficulty. Give thanks: not for the enjoyment of what we are enduring but for what God is seeking to rescue us from, ourselves. How can I give thanks? I certainly can't muster up any thankfulness on my part. My thankfulness stems from realizing God's part in what He is accomplishing in my life. As I look to Him, I remember that His will is being accomplished in my life. And best of all, I do all of this with the certainty and encouragement that Jesus is on my side, having already secured for me that which I could never secure for myself, acceptance and hope no matter what comes my way!

How about you? What has God allowed in your life that He wants to use to rescue you from you? That is something to give thanks for!

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